Friday, December 2, 2016

Grilled Octopus & Potatoes Salad

One of our favorite appetizers is grilled octopus. We order it anytime we see it on the menu.


I thought it would make a nice addition to our Thanksgiving menu last week. It does take time as the octopus is braised, then marinates overnight, and is grilled just before serving. But, I think, it's worth the effort!

Ingredients

Octopus
  • one 5 to 6 lb. octopus, beak removed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • one 1” knob fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 T hot chile paste
  • 2 t coriander seeds
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 C sake
  • 1 C fish stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 C water
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • Also needed: grill pan (I like cast iron) or an actual grill
Potatoes
  • 2 pounds baby potatoes (I like to use different kinds and colors for visual interest)
  • 1 organic onion, peeled and cubed
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil

Sesame Vinaigrette
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 1 t toasted sesame oil
  • black sesame seeds, optional
Procedure

Octopus
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy lidded pot. Add garlic, ginger, chile paste, and coriander seeds, cooking until fragrant, approximately 3 minutes. Add fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sake, and stock. Pour in 2 C water and bring to a boil.

Add octopus to liquid, reduce heat, and partially cover pot. Simmer gently, turning octopus occasionally, until flesh is tender enough to cut with a spoon, approximately 60 to 70 minutes. 

Pour sesame oil into the cooking liquid. Let both the octopus and the liquid cool. Then pour the liquid over the octopus in a dish with a lid and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Bring the octopus to room temperature before cooking. While the octopus is warming, cook your potatoes.


Potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bite-sized pieces of potato and onion in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Turn the potatoes onto a parchment-lined piece of paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. The potatoes will be browned and crisped on the outside, soft on the inside. 


Octopus
Heat a large skillet or a grill pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Slice the octopus into large pieces - I like to keep the tentacles mostly intact and cut the body into 2" cubes or so. Grill to get nice char marks on the octopus.

Sesame Vinaigrette
In a mason jar, pour the rice wine vinegar, olive oil, and sesame oil. Add in the black sesame seeds, if using. Place the lid on the jar and shake to emulsify.

To Serve
Place the potatoes in large mixing bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and scoop into a serving bowl. Lay octopus pieces over the top and serve immediately.

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